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JUNE 2021


This newsletter is sponsored by the
AIDS Education and Training Center Program,
a supporter of the Louisiana School-Based Health Alliance 24th Annual Conference.


Believe in Youth - Louisiana 2.0

The Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) was formed in 1993 by Dr. Denese Shervington and Dr. Billie Jean Pace to address reproductive health disparities for women of color. Headquartered in New Orleans, IWES is a leader in the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the state of Louisiana, providing direct comprehensive sexuality education to numerous school and community sites in many parishes, reaching hundreds of youth annually for over 10 years Believe in Youth-Louisiana 2.0  (BY-LA 2.0) is a trauma-informed teen pregnancy prevention program that teaches age-appropriate sexual and emotional health education to young people throughout Louisiana.


BY-LA 2.0's curriculum is taught in a variety of settings, including middle schools, high schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, after-school programs and juvenile justice institutions. The program's goal is to reduce the rate of unintended teen pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in youth ages 11-19 in Southeastern Louisiana. In addition to supporting the health and wellness of Louisiana youth, IWES programming strives to provide supportive, youth-centered learning that nourishes leadership skills and uplifts self-awareness.  

The BY-LA 2.0 program offers training to organizations who would like to implement trauma-informed comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programming and IWES offers direct implementation of CSE to schools and youth-serving organizations. As the  BY-LA 2.0 program enters its second year, it will continue expanding its reach throughout Southeastern Louisiana by building new partnerships! Currently BY-LA 2.0 has partners in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and St. Charles Parish. Connect with BY-LA 2.0 if you are interested in getting trained or learning more.


Youth Leadership Council

The Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is a space where young people ages 14-18 across the state can talk freely about the issues they face and be advocates for better mental, physical, and sexual health for themselves and their communities. If you have youth in your life that you think would benefit from and be a great fit for the YLC, encourage them to register here! 

Parental Advisory Team

IWES honors that reality that sex ed often begins at home and that parents and caregivers should remain trusted sources of support and information. For this reason, IWES consults a team of parents and caregivers to inform and review the materials incorporated in various programmatic areas. If you’re interested in being a part of this Parental Advisory Team, reach out to Kala Rachal ( for more information. 

Parental/Caregiver Engagement 

Expanding on the importance of parental involvement in sex education, IWES has begun offering parental & caregiver workshops & activities! This is a safe space where adults can come together to learn about sexual health topics and engage with other parents through open discussion and skill building role plays.  Past sessions focused on navigating healthy relationships, answering sensitive questions, and laws related to consent and teens; all topics are decided upon by our Parental Advisory Team.  The BY-LA 2.0 team warmly welcomes new participants and would love to hear your perspective! Contact Gabrielle Freels ( to get on the list for future workshops. 

Community Advisory Board

Similar to the Parental Advisory Team, BY-LA 2.0 has a team of multi-sectoral representatives from the many communities it serves. These partners are champions of youth development who help inform and review various materials utilized throughout the program. If you’re interested in being a part of the Community Advisory Board, reach out to Kala Rachal ( for more information. 

February is School-Based Health Center Awareness Month. What are your plans? Need some ideas? Maybe we can help.....

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